Anger Towards Your Child’s Absent Father

16 Aug Anger Towards Your Child’s Absent Father

The love I once had for my ex-partner quickly turned to hate when he disregarded our child. It took me a long time to overcome the anger I had towards him, as I found it difficult to comprehend how he could walk away so easily from a life we had created. I was all too familiar with the tale of the absent father who would simply vanish out of a child’s life for months or even years, but I never thought that tale would ever apply to my life.

When the relationship broke down with my daughter’s father he played a poignant role in her life and kept a consistent relationship with her from the moment we separated. We quickly accepted that the relationship would not work and were able to put her needs first and move forward. He would keep her overnight and attend all appointments concerning her wellbeing. At the early stages he would also contribute to her financial needs. Therefore my emotional experience to single parenting had more to do with my daughter not being raised under one roof with both parents. I never had that and wanted different for her.

I am not saying that things have been smooth sailing throughout the 14 years because they have not. He went from being a fully committed father until she was around five, to suddenly only having contact with her every other weekend. It was difficult to accept at first and caused a massive strain on our parental relationship. I don’t see it fit to raise a child 48 days out of 365 days a year and could not understand the abrupt change in his parental commitments. Prior to this he had a girlfriend who was very supportive of his child and helped him out with our daughter. I gather that when their relationship came to an end, he felt less competent in his role as a father, making his time limited. After I began seeing someone new the financial assistance also came to a halt. He said he was not going to give me money for my new man. Huh?! Let’s not even go there; we will save that for another post. I was not happy with the overall outcome but accepted it for what it was. Throughout the years he has maintained his weekend parental role and his and our daughter’s loving relationship has been sustained. I do go up and down with my emotions concerning his input, as I feel he is raising her from a distance and could have had more involvement over the years. However, I do not feel anger towards him, because regardless of his sparse contact he has been there throughout her life.

After the relationship broke down with my son’s father it led to an acrimonious (bitter) relationship almost immediately. I found it extremely difficult to come to terms with because along with abandoning the relationship he decided to relinquish his responsibilities to our son. On top of the heartache, I was left with a stream of crippling emotions. I felt bitter, confused, overwhelmed, worried, resentful, tearful, frustrated and above all angry. Anger was at the forefront of my emotions and I had a difficult time shaking it off. His ill treatment towards our son got me so mad. Things between us got pretty nasty and the love we once shared quickly turned to animosity.

Things became strained after the birth of our son; he had recently started a new Stockbroker job and was working ridiculous hours. I was practically a single mother, except we were living together. When he returned from work at 9 sometimes 10 pm he would appear lethargic and would show a lack of interest in our son. Whenever it was his turn to do night feeds he would wake me up and plead for me to take over, complaining that he would not be able to function at work in the morning. I slowly began to resent him and would uphold the demands of our son alone through gritted teeth.

The constant arguments got worse overtime and when it ended in a domestic he went to spend a couple of nights at his fathers. Those couple of nights led to days, which led to weeks and then months that he stayed away without making contact. At first I did not make contact either because I thought it was best to give it time to let the dust settle. After a month of no contact regarding our son I rang him, infuriated, “What the hell is going on, have you forgot that you have a child here?” He was at work and sounded happy as Larry, “I will call you as soon as I get back on my feet.” My jaw dropped. I was in total shock; I did not know this man on the phone. He was acting as if I was a complete stranger and totally disregarded our son. Initially, I was hurt that he did not see our five years together enough of a reason to salvage our relationship after the dispute. Being the strong woman that I am I thought, ‘oh well, things have not been that great if I am honest with myself,’ and was happy for us to go our separate ways.

As the months went by I heard nothing regarding our son. Whenever I called he ignored my calls and would text me saying I should email him. When he did decide to lay his eyes on our son, he would then disappear for months on end. My blood was boiling, the rage and anger inside me grew daily, the pain unexplainable. ‘Who is this man and where is the man I fell in love with?’ Is what kept running through my mind. I could deal with the fact that maybe he did not want a future with me, a great way of timing it but hey it happens. It was the way he treated our son that got under my skin.

What did this tiny life do to him why he hated him so much? I would ask myself over and over again as I stared into our son’s innocent eyes whilst tears filled mine. He missed his first smile, first tooth, first word, first time crawling, first step, every milestone he reached. And with each milestone a part of me died. I felt angry at myself that I failed my son by not making better choices. I was frustrated that my son was now carrying the name of a man who he did not know. It was a repetition of the harrowing tale of my own father and brought back dreadful memories of my past rejection from him.

The anger and hatred I had towards my son’s father was rife. I regretted ever laying eyes on him and punished myself for falling for his false commitments. I would spend days searching blogs for answers, then cry buckets of tears after reading the hundreds of stories mirroring my own. I was angry at the court system and wanted to change the law for child abandonment. I was desperate to change my son’s surname. I was angry at society for turning a blind eye to absent fathers. Wherever I went and whoever was listening I would bang on about how much of a Deadbeat, Wasteman he was. I was desperate for the world to acknowledge his evil deeds.

It got to the point where I started drinking heavy and would have angry outbursts about my situation. I would lash out and be verbally abusive to family members, as if it were their fault. During the heights of my angry rage my ex-partner got me arrested three times and had a 6 months non molestation order set against me. At the time I was suffering from postnatal depression, and combined with alcohol I was on a path to self-destruction. Eventually, the anger began to destroy my character and I was essentially destroying mine and my children’s lives.  I had no motivation for life and no idea how I would pull myself out of the black hole I was in. But I had a battle on my hands with the law to clear my name for all the false allegations set against me and needed to find the will to fight. I am not saying I was completely innocent in it all, as I am a tough cookie and do not take disrespect lying down. Even more so when it comes to my children. Using the law to escape his responsibilities was a low blow and I was not going to have my name tarnished on top of everything else he had put me through.

I took accountability for my part in the domestics and set up an action plan of how I would get my life back on track. I realised that the anger was chipping away at my soul and was destroying my dignity. My children deserved me at my best and I understood that joy and anger could not live in the same home. I was putting all of my time and energy into the negative – focusing on what he was doing wrong, as opposed to what I was doing right. It suddenly dawned on me that I was losing myself for a man who could not care less about his flesh and blood. A man who had moved on with his life and met someone new, and who continuously disrespected me although I nurtured and provided for his child every day. A man who was not capable of loving himself much less his child.

Our son was two years old when I finally set myself free from the anger and got my life back on a more positive, fulfilling path. As much as I felt ashamed about it, I sought help for my postnatal depression and alcohol abuse. I was able to talk to professionals about some of my darkest fears. They gave me support and tools on ways to move forward from the situation. If you are suffering in silence it will not go away, there is amazing support out there for single parents so do not be ashamed to make use of it. It could change your life. We are human beings, and as much as we are probably some of the strongest people on the planet, mentally, we could all do with a bit of help from time to time.

After continuous battles with my ex-partner, studying for my degree and having a handful of nights off during that time, I needed to recoup. I booked a week away to a spa resort in Lanzarote, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. It was there where I found myself and came to terms with my situation. I spent hours in the mountains with the sun and the ocean reflecting on my circumstances and how I could make changes. It was where I decided I would ‘Let Go and Let God’… I forgave my ex-partner for everything he had put me through and set myself free. No longer would I respond to his behaviour. I changed the code for the buttons that he knew how to push and stopped rising to every argument he invited me to. Instead I diverted my focus on being the greatest mother to my children and reclaimed back my life. I was desperate to laugh again; it was time to be happy and find my true life purpose.

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The minute I decided to let go of the anger and placed the situation in God’s hands there was a complete shift in my life. Almost a year passed where I heard nothing from my son’s father, until I received a card from him on Christmas Day. I did not respond and 1 month later he applied to the court for contact. His order was rejected due to a conviction he received during the year he went missing. I attended a court hearing for his accusations and was found not guilty of all charges that he set against me and shortly after he was sent down for his own pitfalls. This man set out on a mission to destroy me, but karma had other plans and he ended up destroying himself instead.

We have managed to move forward since then and have put the past behind us for the sake of our son who is now four. He will be released any day now and I will support him in building a relationship with our son 100%. But I will have no expectations of the role he will play, so long as I am doing my role that is all that matters.

Letting go of the embedded anger towards your child’s father is not something that will happen overnight. It will take time and in some cases many dreadful situations before you get there. However long it takes, you must at some point set yourself free. If anger is consuming you, think of a plan to put out the burning flames.

‘No matter how justified I was in my anger it never actually changed anything. This is why I must let go… Not because I think it is okay but I love myself too much to keep holding on.’ – Lisa Prosen.

Edited by Shayanne Campbell

5 Comments
  • Sparkle
    Posted at 11:40h, 17 August Reply

    <3 God is so amazing, always trust in God. Everything happens for a reason, bad guys/people will only hurt themselves in the end <3 Made me feel so emotional, tears of joy reading about God <3 So much love and respect for you <3

    I think it is just a man thing, they need us women to bring up their kids. I know the bit about only being involved when they have another girlfriend. My sons father used to go months without seeing his son. He used to call me up whinging and whining saying he wants to see his son, I used to say "well see him then. Take him to the park for the afternoon." He'd say "I can't, got no money for the bus." If he was that desperate to see him he'd walk. I've done it before for exercise, an hour walk each way. He'd be able to see him every other weekend when he had a GF though. If it was the right weekend he had money. I never felt angry though as when he lived with me and were together (miserably) we'd have awful arguments, he too used to push my buttons to make me so angry until I reacted by hitting him, it was his goal because he would be physically violent back to me. I was too scared to get angry so reacted with tears and crying instead which made him also violent. Smashing my phones up, smashing glasses, his fists against the wall, he punched me once or twice when I didn't even hit him first. "Stop crying" he'd scream!! When I managed to free myself, and stop him living with me (I was still trapped by him for many years after.) I just felt so happy I didn't have to live with him any more. For a year after I let him stay every weekend to see Alfie, as he'd guilt trip me and I was scared of him. We'd still argue, but I knew he would be leaving on the Sunday night or Monday morning, so let him have it his way, which would be the case any way. After one argument he went to social services complaining about me being a bad mum, they said if we argue it's best that he doesn't stay at the weekend 🙂 He shot himself in the foot going to social services about me. I was free of him from the weekends too. So, I couldn't get angry with him, just relieved I no longer had to feel anger. I felt scared and trapped still, as I let him say all sorts of stuff that would drag me down. I felt frustrated because I wanted my son to have his father in his life, I didn't want to be one of these women you hear about that stop their kids seeing their dad. I wanted him to be a good dad, but I couldn't feel anger, just so frustrated as his dad wouldn't be a good father but kept whinging and whining talking about and saying that he wanted to be a good father and blaming me that he couldn't be. I had a blockage inside of me to protect me against the bad words. The blockage bought me down, as I couldn't be open and free but had to protect myself. If I had loved myself I could have got myself out a long time before. Anyway, his dad asked when Alfie was small if when he was 11 could he live with him, I stupidly said yes to shut him up as 11 seemed a long way off but he kept on and on and on and on about it and Alfie was getting older, I then said no.
    Any way he kept on as he did. I said "OK" have him for the whole 6 weeks summer hols (2 years ago) He said OK but that he wants money as because I am a single mum I get benefits, I also get extra benefits for Alfie Autistic spectrum disorder. (I have loved reading your past blogs about always working, studying etc not getting benefits, and I am excited to say that I have an interview on Friday for college!! 😀 ) (I didn't get any GCSE's as was admitted to hospital at 15 with depression, I was there for 11 months. I tried college when I left but dropped out. Very messy times back then. I remember listening to a song by Eminem and then desperately wanting a baby. "Sometimes I think i'm crazy, oh crazy oh so crazy, then i see my baby, it all makes sense when i look into her eyes." I thought meeting Alfie's dad was a dream come true, as he said he would give me a baby. What man does that?? A man you should be extremely weary of!!
    Any way, he said he needed money to have Alfie for the whole 6 weeks (He has never given me child maintenance, I might add.) I said he could have Alfie for 3 weeks and I would give him £20 a week. I gave him £60 and he wanted me to pick Alfie up after a week. He kept the money of course. We had an argument, he followed me into the communal hallway, I wanted to escape the argument. It got a bit aggressive and nearly violent with punching threats. Anyway, an ex friend of mine was going to Ghana for a few months and he liked to come see me every other week when Alfie was at his dads. He said I should stop Alfie going there. (I realise now it was for his own peace of mind, keeping me from going out, as when he returned he suggested that I let Alfie go to his dads every other weekend. I wonder why? I guess he liked coming to stay and letting me cook for him. Even though he wasn't committed. My own fault for letting it drag on for so long. Crazy low self esteem women! We' re all amazingly incredible! <3 ) I did manage to not let him see Alfie as I knew when he got money and said we're busy that weekend but you can have him next weekend. I did that up until Christmas, then got soft and let him see him. His nan, then said so I don't have to see him I will drop him at hers, and he can pick Alfie up and drop him at hers. It was fine but then he started abusing his nan because I asked nicely to not hear any thing he had to say as all it did was bring me down and make me feel bad. She agreed and she wouldn't let her Grandson say horrid things about me, she didn't want to hear it. And he started going off on one at her until she didn't want to do it any more. At the same time I had support workers involved, through Alfie's school, I guess they sensed something was up. I told them the situation with his dad, and they said it is better that Alfie doesn't see him at all. So, professional advice people told me it's best he doesn't see him. I have no guilt at all now. All that is needed is patience and trusting in God's and realising the mistakes we make. Alfie hasn't seen his dad for 18 months now. He gets on better at school, work wise and socially, am guessing part of it is to do with the fact I am a lot happier. I am no longer trapped, I am free to grow 🙂

    Recently at bible study my friend prayed for me to meet a nice Christian man. I think I have. I have been going to his church with him the past 3 weeks, I love his church and the messages they teach. He seems so wonderful at the moment. I am trying not to let past guys stop me from trusting him and opening my heart to him. He is from Ghana, he was born there and lived there for 20 years, so I am guessing he has a different culture, so hopefully he will be better for me. The thing is I am so with God now, if I don't like something I feel safe to say it. I look at his response. It's early days and am just hoping for the best, staying with and trusting in God. God is the foundation of our relationship, things can't go possibly go wrong 🙂 <3 If it doesn't work out, another mistake to learn and grow from <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    • ayshascott
      Posted at 20:06h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Sparkle, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I’m glad it helped you in some way. I’m sorry to hear of your unfortunate circumstance and I pray that one day Alfie’s father sees sense and upholds his parental responsibilities. It’s okay to be angry about your situation so long as it doesn’t deter you from moving forward. I’m happy to hear about your college enrolment and I hope it all goes well for you. You sound like a great mum and I hope it works out with the new Mr in your life. xx

  • Frankie
    Posted at 21:14h, 17 August Reply

    Thank you so much. I pray for him too 🙂 He desperately needs God in his heart 🙂 Will be looking forward to week 4 of your blog 🙂 x x <3 x x Lol to my Sparkle name just seen how to change it. Is in my e-mail and automatically put the name in lol! I do love to Sparkle though 😀 x x <3

  • jennasheehan
    Posted at 16:39h, 26 September Reply

    I really enjoy this, speaks to me in so many ways. My daughters father is absent, blames me, plays the mind games.. Could on and on. I came across ur blogs at the right time. Thank you..just thank you.

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